Sitting with Stevens on the panel was Karla Venell, the manager of database and email marketing at General Mills. Vernal says, “most of the (fan sites are) probably good for us.”
When speaking about the folks that create brand centric fan pages Stevens says, “The best thing to do is empower those individuals as much as possible and engage with them.” He then goes further to say, “They like the attention and notoriety that comes with being a brand ambassador.”
This is an interesting comment from a MySpace executive given that they are basically advising corporations to use the natural tendency of their free network versus buying adspace. Stevens might also understand that the fundamental basis for his company’s future growth is developing strong positive communities around ideas that people enjoy (brands). Or this might be an attempt to minimize foreseen legal liabilities in regards to things like trademark and copyright infringement.
Either way, it’s clear that brand engagement in social media can be very powerful and utilizing “organically grown” networks that have been built by real fans is probably one of the best methods.
Now, I want to know what ever happened with my favorite fan page??